The characteristic tang and acidity of marinated artichoke hearts is only enhanced and developed in this Tomato Artichoke Soup.
The globe artichoke (Cynara cardunculus) is actually a variety of thistle commercially cultivated for food. The leaves harden as the plant matures, leaving them mostly inedible along with the immature florets in the center (the “choke”) but the fleshy interior and base (the “heart”) remain tasty when boiled, steamed or roasted. In many places, it is considered a delicacy and served with olive oil, butter, aioli or lemon juice.
Of course, one can take the time and effort to break down and cook a whole raw artichoke but a simpler path exists. Marinated (lightly pickled) artichoke hearts are available commercially in jars (avoid canned versions), and can have added flavors from roasting or herb-infused oils. These artichokes come fully cooked and include a flavorful marinade liquor that brings even more to the soup.
Other than the artichokes, this soup consists of the standard tomato soup base and flavorings that can be customized to taste. With the olive oil and included marinade, the balance becomes akin to a vinaigrette, which is enhanced with a touch of red wine vinegar to finish. For a less acidic dish, omit the vinegar and include a teaspoon or two of sugar or honey.
Serve this with minced chives as a side to a hearty or creamy toasted sandwich, such as roast chicken or tuna salad.
Tomato Artichoke Soup
28-oz can whole tomatoes
12-oz jar artichoke hearts
½ white onion
2 cloves of garlic
2 c chicken stock
½ c white wine
1 t red wine vinegar
½ t oregano
3 bay leaves
1 Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté both in the oil with the bay leaves until soft, about 5 min.
2 Add the artichokes with their liquor and tomatoes with their juices, breaking up whole pieces with a spoon.
3 Stir in the stock, wine and spices. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 30 min.
4 Remove the bay leaves and purée the soup in batches until smooth. Finish with the vinegar just before serving.